ADT has introduced Laser Shot firearm training for its reaction officers – a first for the private security industry – and has already seen a 50% improvement in the competency rate of its new recruits.
Developed in the United States, Laser Shot is a comprehensive training system which consists of laser guns, recoil systems and video and computer simulators.
“Laser Shot provides the best possible training platform for our reaction officers,” says Fritz van der Merwe, national training manager for ADT. “It is an immensely powerful tool that exposes officers to the realism of deadly encounters and teaches them the skills needed to survive, and help others survive, life threatening situations.”
The video and computer simulators provide fully interactive three dimensional training scenarios, replicating a wide range of tactical situations. ADT has also bought a video camera to film its own scenarios, which will then be distributed to all of its regions. “The video training is very effective as it presents trainees with a variety of situations that could occur on the job,” Van der Merwe says. “We can also replay and analyse the videos as a team, which gives us the opportunity to discuss anything that may have gone wrong and how the trainees could improve.”
The firearm training is a two week course. The first week of training takes place at ADT’s training centre. Officers first make use of plastic laser guns and video simulators before graduating to a gas gun which is fitted with a recoil system and is almost a replica of the firearm that officers use once they are deployed. This training is followed by a standard week of firearm training which takes place at a shooting range.
ADT only employs Private Security Regulatory Authority South Africa (PSIRA) registered reaction officers. Before being employed by ADT, each applicant is required to pass a five-week training course, which includes the firearm training.
“Since we introduced the Laser Shot firearm training two months ago, we have seen a significant increase in the competency rate of our officers. It will also provide an excellent refresher course for successful applicants and reaction officers in the field. It enables our officers to train and develop tactical decision-making skills as well as speed and accuracy – all of which can make the difference in a life or death situation.”
The Laser Shot technology is currently being used in ADT’s Johannesburg region but will be rolled out to other regions in early 2008.
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